October 13, 2006

A NEW STRATEGY FOR COMBATING SCHOOL SHOOTINGS:

Youngsters in a suburban Fort Worth school district are being taught not to sit there like good boys and girls with their hands folded if a gunman invades the classroom, but to rush him and hit him with everything they got – books, pencils, legs and arms.

“Getting under desks and praying for rescue from professionals is not a recipe for success,” said Robin Browne, a major in the British Army reserve and an instructor for Response Options, the company providing the training to the Burleson schools.

That kind of fight-back advice is all but unheard of among schools, and some fear it will get children killed.

But school officials in Burleson said they are drawing on the lessons learned from a string of disasters such as Columbine in 1999 and the Amish schoolhouse attack in Pennsylvania last week. . . .Browne recommends students and teachers “react immediately to the sight of a gun by picking up anything and everything and throwing it at the head and body of the attacker and making as much noise as possible. Go toward him as fast as we can and bring them down.”

This seems right to me. Joanne Jacobs has further thoughts on the subject.

UPDATE: Here are some further thoughts, from an expert.

ANOTHER UPDATE: SayUncle weighs in.

MORE: It’s certainly a change from this approach:

At Columbine, the armed “school resource officer” refused to pursue the killers into the building, and kept himself safe outside while the murders were going on inside. Even after SWAT teams arrived, and while, via an open 911 line, the authorities knew that students were being methodically executed in the library, the police stood idle just a few yards outside the library.

Jeez. (Via Mike Rappaport).

MORE STILL: John Weidner is saying I told you so!

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